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Barrister and Mann - Bay Rum

Yesterday was Barrister and Mann’s launch day, so I figured it would be a good time to review one of the samples that he had asked for my feedback on. My first impressions from this soap is that it’s very reminiscent of Mike’s Natural, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Lather-wise, at first try, with just a little bit of water you can whip up a thick cream that is somewhat deficient in the lubrication aspect. And if you stop there, you might come away thinking that this is a so-so soap, nothing to write home about.

But, like Mike’s, if you keep adding water, that water will be put to good use by the soap; it’ll only thin out slightly, staying nice and creamy, but significantly increases the amount of glide. There’s nothing wrong with it being a fairly thirsty soap, but it helps to know it is before you try it! After the shave, it left my face feeling quite nice, soft, and moisturized. Despite the fact that the new (well, really old!) razor I was using kinda hacked it up.

The scent is just a fantastic Bay Rum, minus the typical cloves that many people apparently can’t stand. I myself don’t mind cloves, but I also wasn’t particularly missing their absence. What did go into the aroma was “West Indian Bay (none of that cooking bay stuff), sweet orange, real blackstrap rum, benzoin (a warm, vanilla-like scent), and just a hint of cassia cinnamon, which provides a pleasant warmth.” All told, it made quite a nice blend.

Strength-wise, I’d say it was spot-on. Nice and strong, and almost nothing in the way of fading. Much more and I feel it would have gotten into the realm of overpowering, but as is I thought that it was just about perfect.

  • 9/10 Scent Pleasantness
  • 10/10 Scent Strength
  • 9/10 Quality of Lather

Frankly, considering that this is from a neophite soap-maker, I’d say he’s setting himself up for some great expectations (considering the other two samples I’ve seen, I don’t think this one’s just a fluke). I look forward to seeing the rest of what he comes up with. Overall, a strong 9/10; highly recommended.

  • Cost: As mentioned, the sample I used was provided because the soapmaker (fellow redditor BostonPhotoTourist) wanted my feedback. They haven’t yet added samples to their store, however we’ve been told that they plan on doing so within the next few weeks. The full-sized 3.75 oz pucks will be $10. A damned good price for what you get.

Gear used:

Ingredients: Potassium Stearate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Tallowate, Sodium Tallowate, Aqua, Glycerin, Potassium Ricinoleate, Sodium Ricinoleate, Citrus sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil, Pimenta racemosa (West Indian Bay) Oil, Rum, Styrax Benzoin Oil, Cassia auriculata (Cassia) Oil, Coconut Milk, Potassium Kokum Butterate, Sodium Kokum Butterate, Unrefined Shea Butter, Potassium Cocoate, Sodium Cocoate, Lanolin, Allantoin, Silk Protein, Tocopherol Acetate.